I'm an Editor in book publishing. All opinions are my own.
I belong to a book club. Do you? Why? I joined because I'd moved to a new location and didn't really know anybody, and was eager to combine new friends with my favorite hobby: reading!
We formed the book club with a few rules. 1. The book had to be shorter than 500 pages, to increase the chances of everybody's finishing it. 2. The book had to be out in paperback, so it would be easier for everybody to find and carry, and cheaper if they wanted to buy. 3. Nobody can have read the book before. This rule makes every month was a clean slate. If the book is great, fantastic! If nobody liked it, well, who could have known? Nobody had read it. 4. Each month is a dictatorship. As long as nobody's read the book, the designated chooser can pick whatever she wants, and we rotate who gets to choose every month. This way everybody gets to read her top pick every so often.
Though we've definitely had a few duds, I love that book club has forced me to read a lot of wonderful books I'd never heard of or may not have picked up on my own. For instance, I really didn't want to read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO--yet I ended up loving more than anybody else in the group! I also loved NOTHING TO ENVY by Barbara Demick, a reportage non-fiction about North Korean defectors, another book I likely wouldn't have chosen to read for pleasure.
Above are a few books that were successful book club reads in that either I really enjoyed it, the club in general enjoyed it, or it provoked a lot of discussion.
What books have been successes in your book club? Pass on the recommendations!